UUSRF Poetry Pages

Submitted by Live Poets' Society members & friends (some as author, some not):

This poem is by Roy Christianson and associated with the Aug. 16, 1015 Service.

This is Rev. Ted's Poem for Oct. 1 meeting of Live Poets Society, written by a colleague in ministry and former chaplain at United Theological Seminary:

"Clearing" by Martha Postlewaite
Do not try to save the whole world
or do anything grandiose.
Instead, create
a clearing
in the dense forest
of your life
and wait there patiently
until the song
that is your life
falls into your own cupped hands
and you recognize and greet it.
Only then will you know
how to give yourself
to this world
so worthy of rescue.

Another good one from our own John Hill, posted on face book.  He is so productive!

UU Unicorn

What’s that up there in the sky?
It looks like a horse, but horses can’t fly.
It’s got wings, but that’s absurd;
silver feathers, but it’s not a bird.
Worry, worry, fear, and dread:
it has a horn on top of its head.
Silky coat as white as snow,
Ruby hooves that flash when it moves;
a strange creature, it really grooves.
If you see a single, solitary horn—indigo—
glowing bright in heavenly light,
then you will know
it’s a UU unicorn.
If you had one, you’d love no other.
Since you don’t, love one another.
                     John W Hill
                     August 6, 2014

Nancy Miller -

Winged Once

here I am

mom is gone-
I'm a person now

my wings unfurl

Nancy Miller

Roy Christianson -  

John Hill -

Korea - New Year’s Day 1953
The longest, darkest night;
to the north, where soldiers fight,
a flickering yellow light.
It’s not heat lightning, I know,
because here we freeze
in a Manchurian breeze:
it’s forty below.

Big guns boom, tracer shells fly,
reddening the nighttime sky.

Sometimes a cannon shell
serves up a horrific heap of hell,
a squeal, a blinding flash,
landing with a dreadful crash.

In this ghastly dream,
I hear dying comrades scream.

My heart begins to pound; 
a sound like pulsing drums.
More men may die 
before the morning comes.

Now in the east a tinge of light
tells the rising of the sun; 
the long, dark night is nearly done.
That night so long ago and far away
seems just yesterday.
John W Hill
January 1, 2014

A Walk in the Yard - March 25

Spring Thaw? Ah Pshaw! - March 4

Now that we have rising temps,

you can stop whining, winter wimps.

My human and I a-walking go

no matter how cold or deep the snow.

But now we have springtime thaws,

the salty slush will freeze my paws.

Enjoy your bright spring, 

warm summer, and bracing fall.

When winter comes again, 

my human and I will have a ball

Ted Tollefson -


Jane Kenyon

I got out of bed
on two strong legs.
It might have been
otherwise. I ate
cereal, sweet
milk, ripe, flawless
peach. It might
have been otherwise.
I took the dog uphill
to the birch wood.
All morning I did
the work I love.

At noon I lay down
with my mate. It might
have been otherwise.
We ate dinner together
at a table with silver
candlesticks. It might
have been otherwise.
I slept in a bed
in a room with paintings
on the walls, and
planned another day
just like this day.
But one day, I know,
it will be otherwise.


from Otherwise, 1996
Graywolf Press, St. Paul, Minn.

Here are 3 Winter Poems for Musings from  an unpublished collection called Post-Cards from Point-No-Point  by Ted Tollefson

this is how my mother and grandmother
greeted the day:
hands warmed by soapy water
washing a cup or bowl
that would touch familiar lips
and fill the belly.
may no harm befall those
who make love visible
one dish at a time.

not many
would mistake Wisconsin for Nirvana
but glimpsed through whisps of fog
in First Light
how it shines

like memories of home
or a beloved face 
beckoning from our dreams.

no one knows for sure 

if he was dead drunk
or trying to win a desperate wager
but the little silver truck from Wisconsin
on a mostly frozen river
just the same.

Nancy Holden -


The Thaw

sliding sheets of ice break over the edges

from the porch roof daggers drip

a stream of melting from the marshy lawn

meets the gutter flow, icy currents dotted

with brittle black crunch-rimmed clots of snow


some bird of great faith has known the thaw

would come between new snows

and with his mate skims the witless worms

ravenous then delicate then sated

sits profound in limbs still emptied by winter

by even this cold pleasure am I moved

like a child to simple-minded tears

like a bare nerve shocked by pain

and so be quiet in the March sanctuary

prepared for grand processionals,

songs of hope, modest penitents

weepy, fervent and amazed, while Spring

in the vestry whistles a bawdy tune.


You could have journeyed south

at summer's end

like the gray goose

painted ladies and

the dainty-winged cricket eaters

dried and seasoned

crumbled in tight packets

this earned summer would have traveled

in your knapsack

truant from the winter's deprivation

but since you chose to stay

then winter wisely with woolen fortitude 

accepting darkness

and the sovereignty of wind

for if thoughts of green are given over 

and the now of this December known

then the snow tastes clear

as truth on any tongue

northern lights hang in shining air

then at the hearth life that shrank

into your teeth comes back 

in throbbing measure

oh more warmly than in spring